Popular local eatery closing after more than 15 years

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OKLAHOMA CITY - For the past three weeks, Linda Lee has been busy finding jobs for all of her employees. She says all but one will be able to move to a new job immediately.

As for the name Irma? It was based off Lee's two grandmothers Etta and Norma, as well as one of her partner’s grandmothers.

"We love their specials. We always come on Fridays for catfish. Come on Thursdays for chicken fried chicken,” Tobi Coleman said.

But Friday was the last day Coleman and her son Justin will be able to eat at the Irma’s Burger Shack in midtown.

"We've had a really good run. We've made some really good friends here. Some really awesome customers so I'm sad, but maybe it's time to move on to something else,” said Lee, the owner.

Lee says closing the midtown restaurant has been in the works for a year. She says street car construction is a major reason why.

"It seems to be an oversaturation for this market, and that was kind of coupled with the road construction out here. It's been a little tough. It's been tough on a lot of people around here," she said.

"This is really shocking and it's sad to see that Irma's is leaving because I'm like, 'Where are we going to go now?'” Stephanie Aloggins said.

The original Irma's, opened in 2003, will also be closing.

Bank 7 bought the original building from Chesapeake earlier this year.

Nine months into Lee's two-year lease and the new owners asked her a big question.

"They have upgraded their plans and so they asked us if we would move out sooner and we're going to, so that was a little bit of a shock," she said.

So for now, the 63rd street eatery will close on August 15, but it may not be forever.

"We're always looking. We never want to say no to anything. Right now, I think we want to concentrate on getting things closed down. Doing the best job we can of that,” Lee said.

Until and if then, she hopes people will remember how much Irma's gave back to the local community.

"I think maybe I would like that to be an underlying legacy that we tried to do as much business as possible with local people. Sue Ann's and we buy our cups from someone here. We try to buy from people here," she said.

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